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Grey Matters, January 5, 2015; Volume 3, Number 17

posted Jan 4, 2015, 7:21 AM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jul 6, 2015, 6:55 AM by James Marcotte ]

Hi Everyone,


I am sending out this Grey Matters on a Sunday afternoon because I know so many of you have been waiting with bated breath to find out if my youngest son got the bacon box that he listed on his Christmas wish list.  No, he didn’t get a bacon box, mostly because we’re not sure one actually exists.  However, one of Parker’s grandparents did some clever investigative work and discovered that there is such a thing as a Bacon Bowl (vegetarians should avert their eyes if they click on the link), and it was one of a few bacon-related gifts that were opened last week, along with a bacon-themed calendar, and three pounds of bacon wrapped in a big red bow (click here for a photo).  


I do want to wish everyone a happy new year, as we enter 2015 together.  For those who remember the moderately successful sequel of Back to the Future (starring Michael J. Fox) that was released in 1989, the setting was in fact the year 2015, and so there were a few articles that looked at what predictions, if any, the film got right when they sent Marty McFly into the future/right now.  If any of you are wondering whether your New Year’s resolutions are similar to the ones made by those around you, there was a study conducted on this issue!  The Journal of Clinical Psychology released a study that identified how many Americans usually make resolutions (about 45%), the top ten resolutions of 2014, and the length and success rates of the different resolutions. Like 38% of people who make resolutions, mine had to do with more consistent exercise, and healthier eating habits. I’ve recently been doing pretty well with the exercise piece, but my love (some might say infatuation) with the four food groups (pasta, bread, rice, and cheese) is always my downfall.  Apparently I have a lot of company when it comes to this tendency, and Boston.com also shared an article that looked at the cost and durability of certain goals.  


So the real reason I am sending this week’s Grey Matters out a bit early is that the first Ski Club session is taking place tomorrow (Monday).  A friendly reminder to families whose kids are participating that skis and snowboards are not allowed on the buses, so an alternate plan is needed on these Mondays.  For those bringing kids and equipment during the morning drop-off process, please (please!) have the skis, poles, boots, etc. put together in a way that will help us keep things moving (and safe) down there in the parking lot.  


Before the break, I announced the details of a big community event taking place on January 15th in the High School Auditorium (at 7pm).  Michelle Gielan will be speaking to the Acton-Boxborough, and I want to mention again how excited we are that this event is being held.  Michelle is a nationally renowned expert on the science of positive communication and the founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research, as well as a former news anchor for CBS News. During this interactive presentation, Michelle will explore how each of us can broadcast happiness to inoculate our brain against stress and negativity, along with a host of other wellness-related topics.  This presentation is geared towards an audience that also includes students in grades 7 thru 12.  There actually is no school for students the following day (January 16), so from a scheduling perspective, a great opportunity to attend this event with your kids and not have to think about getting ready for school the next day.  Check out the event flyer for more information, and make plans to join us that evening (please).  


A few other reminders to bring to your attention:

  • Our last set of parent-teacher conferences is scheduled for this Thursday, January 8.  That means all students will be dismissed at 10:40am, and conferences begin at 11:30am.  Please check in with your kids about plans and expectations for that day.  

  • There is no school for all Acton-Boxborough students on Friday, January 16.  That is a professional development day, and staff will be participating in workshops.  This applies to the elementary schools and the high school.  

  • The RJG Winter Band Concert is scheduled for the evening of January 14, and the Winter Chorus Concert is scheduled for the evening of January 21.  


The end of January is the halfway point in the school year.  Within the last two weeks of the month, students take a math mid-year assessment that includes materials from the first half of the year.  I share this information so you are aware and can eventually help your kids prepare, but also with a plea that you (and your kids) not get too anxious or fixated on it.  We certainly want everyone to feel ready, and rest assured our math teachers will spend time in the next two weeks explaining what will be expected and providing opportunities to review relevant material.  


To conclude the first Grey Matters of the new year, I wanted to share a quick “good deed” story that occurred over the break.  Last Tuesday I received an email from a gentleman writing from San Antonio, Texas.  Earlier that day, he found a wallet on the floor of a hotel, and the wallet included some money, gift cards, and a few personal items, including an RJ Grey student identification card.  Wanting to increase the chances of the student being reunited with his wallet, the gentleman looked up our school contact information, and wrote to us hoping that we could let the student and his family know that the wallet and its contents were being held at the hotel’s security office.  It likely only took the gentleman as little as 15 minutes to look up our contact information and send us a short email.  However, having that brief moment of interaction with that individual during his small gesture of kindness definitely made my day, and I wanted to pass it along.   


Have a great week, everyone.


Cheers,

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